X-Message-Number: 32619
Subject: Re: The Enduring Myth of One Quick Promotional Fix
From: David Stodolsky <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 14:48:39 +0200
References: <>

On 13 Jun 2010, at 11:00 AM, CryoNet wrote:
> David Stodolsky writes: "If the marketing strategy was updated, then
> we would be looking forward to having about a third of the population
> signed up."

> You are aware perhaps that the Omni Immortality Contest, about 15
> years ago, offered free cryopreservation arrangements to the winner,
> who merely had to write a 500-word essay explaining why he or she
> wanted to be cryopreserved. 

The key figure is that a third of those that did respond indicated they would 
choose suspension as their prize. 

> To me, a big problem in cryonics is that enthusiasts such as yourself
> persist in imagining that one "quick fix" can change everything. 

What I proposed was a three million Euro project, taking several years, in order
to develop a new marketing strategy, a new financing method, and a way to gain 
political power over key resources needed for optimal standby. The new financing
method would make suspension economically neutral, after taxes, thereby 
accommodating the third of the population estimated above. 

However, current marketing doesn't even begin to approach the problem in an 
effective manner:

Andreasen (1995) offers a simple way of distinguishing civically oriented 
informational efforts that fail from those that succeed in their efforts. He 
distinguishes effective from ineffective social marketers in several ways. Five 
of these ways are as follows.

1. Effective: 'The organization's mission is seen as bringing about behavior 
change by meeting the target market's needs and wants'.

   Ineffective: 'The organization's mission is seen as inherently good'.

2. Effective: The customer is seen as someone with unique perceptions, needs, 
and wants to which the marketer must adapt. 'The assumption is made that 
customers have very good reasons for what they are doing'.

   Ineffective: Customers are the problem. Here, the customer (or in the case of
   deliberation, citizens) are 'seen as the source of the problem. The customer
   is seen as deficient in one of two ways.

   Ignorance. Because the social marketer knows what a good idea it is to 
   practice safe sex or put campfires out carefully, he or she assumes that the 
   reason other people don't do this is that they simply do not know how 
   desirable the marketer's favorite behavior is. Customers who are not 
   complying are just too ignorant of the virtues of the proposed action'.

   Lack of Motivation. Every once in a while, social marketers who are convinced
   that customer ignorance is the main source of their lack of success are 
   confronted by research data showing that customers are not all as ignorant as
   the marketers thought. They then turn to their backup explanation: the real 
   problem must be a character flaw'.

3. Ineffective: 'Marketing research has a limited role'. 'Formative research 
(before the campaign gets underway) is typically limited to finding out the 
extent of consumer ignorance or apathy... But they do not look at what customers
want, what they actually do, or what is keeping them from acting'.

   Effective: Marketing research is vital. '[I]n evaluating overall program, 
   good social marketers look to long-run behavioral impact and not to such 
   potentially transient factors as information learned or attitudes changed... 
   [to] give some assurance that there will be effects lasting well beyond the 
   limited span of the social marketing program'.

4. Ineffective: 'Customers are treated as a mass'. Organizers 'tend not to see 
the need for segmenting consumers into meaningful subgroups... They tend to 
treat customers as a mass, saying things like 'We want to reach everyone with 
our program', or to divide their customers into two of three elementary segments
(men and women, urban and rural, young and old) and treat them essentially all 
alike with 'the one best approach'.

   Effective: Customers are grouped in segments.

5. Ineffective: 'Competition is ignored'. Organizers 'seldom really get inside 
the heads of their target consumers... Now, if you mention this to [an 
organizer], the response will probably be something like 'Well the competition 
is the consumer's ignorance and lack of motivation'. But this attitude both 
misses the point and is patronizing to consumers. Target consumers in most 
behavior-change situations have very good reasons for maintaining the behavior 
patterns they have held-often for a lifetime. As experience has shown, a great 
many of these behavior patterns are not the result of ignorance but of conscious

   Effective: Competition is seen to be everywhere and never ending.

(The above quoted from pages 66-67 of:

Lupia, A. (2009). Can Online Deliberation Improve Politics? Scientific 
Foundations for Success In Todd Davies and Seeta Pena Gangadharan (eds.). Online
Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.)


Andreasen, A. R. 1995. Marketing Social Change: Changing Behavior to Promote 
Health, Social Development, and the Environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass 

A review of mails to this List will show that the dominant view is that 'The 
[cryonics] organization's mission is seen as inherently good', 'Customers are 
the problem' because they are ignorant or unmotivated, 'Marketing research has a
limited role' - actually none, 'Customers are treated as a mass', and 
'Competition is ignored', except for self-distructive infighting - The Movement 
has not even identified what market it is competing in. So, we can conclude that
the amateurism in marketing has succeeded in choosing five out of five 
ineffective strategies, virtually guaranteeing failure.

>  And promoting
> cryonics is extremely difficult, mainly because, almost anyone can see
> that cryonics doesn't work yet. 

Tell it to the Pope.


David Stodolsky
  Skype: davidstodolsky

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